Sunday, September 28

Adoption Update: Meet Alia Mercedes



If you follow me on instagram then you have been seeing some photos of Alia and also some boring stuff like my toilet. Hot right? I am not painting right now, or going to the studio much, so I don't have sexy painting photos to post. Time is flying and I will be back to work soon, but right now this is just fun as getout.

In the hospital room moments after she was born.




Alia Mercedes was born on Sunday September 7th at 8:30am. We got a call that Saturday night at midnight from our birthmother who was in labor. We took her to the hospital and after several hours they put her in a room and we got to hang with her and sleep there with her. She was so strong and brave. They admitted other women in front of her because they were being so vocal about their pain while our sweet birthmother was grimacing in silence and by the time they got her into a room and checked her she was four centimeters. She only pushed twice to get Alia out and I was right there and watched it happen. It was amazing to see her born, to cut her umbilical cord and to hold her and feed her within a few minutes of her being born! I was sort of in shock. At one moment O puts his hand on her tummy and leaned in an whispered "welcome to our team sweet Alia." It totally made me cry. She stayed in the NICU for 48 hours until she was cleared to come home with us. It has been a whirlwind of visits since then, everyone I have ever known (it feels like) has come over to see her, hold her, give us sweet gifts and share our joy. My mom has been staying with us a few days a week and that has been so nice because she is an expert with babies and she is fun to have around because we laugh a lot. 



When I was an adolescent my mom took care of infants at home, and I babysat a lot for them on the weekends. I had completely forgotten about that part of my life but it all came back to me as soon as I looked down at her and put her first onsie on. I am comfortable with babies! I totally forgot about that. I have fed, burped, changed, bathed, soothed, played with and everything in between babies of many ages before. Oh yeah! I remember how to do this! Suweet. Doing all of these things with Alia is more fun because even her cry is sweet to me. 

Our ten day waiting period for birth mother revocation has passed and we are so happy that we are running smoothly along to our court date (sometime in the next couple of months). The court date will be the final step, and Alia will be totally ours, with O's last name and everything. 

Baby feet! So expressive and adorable. 


Alia is so adorable, and we are bonding so well. She makes sweet cooing and squealing noises all the time. Loves her passy, loves to be swaddled, loves to eat and really loves to snuggle up in a solly wrap and take a little stroll. She isn't sure about bath time but she loves the drying off part of the bath. I read Moms on Call in two seconds and I am following the process. So far she eats at 9pm, 3am and 7am. If you aren't a mom then you really don't care, but I have learned that other moms really want to talk about this kind of stuff. Hilarious. We have a pack and play while we wait for a friend to give us their crib, we have one of those rock and something things that she loves (but I don't love because it is made from a flammable, not breathable fabric. What? Babies sleep in that thing guys!)




So when Alia was at the hospital they fed her Similac. I wanted to feed her a more natural, organic formula but when I did research on them I was really worried by what I found. There are so many scary, very not good things in even the best quality organic formulas. Now, I don't judge any mom who feeds her baby a regular formula or anything really. You gotta get that baby fed man, I get it. But Alia smelled so bad when she was drinking Similac. I changed diaper brands, wipe brands, shampoo, detergent. Nothing made her smell better. She didn't have that sweet baby smell, she had a "I am sweating out a bunch of toxins" smell. I can't afford to buy donor breast milk (800usd a week, on average for this age).

I know its blurry, but I love her face so much!
So I ordered some Hipp formula from the UK because they have much stricter regulations on food there and I read that it would be a good choice but it took so long to arrive (even though I spent 50usd to expedite shipping) that we were sort of stuck so I did some googling and I found a homemade recipe using cow's milk here. I spoke with our pediatrician and she says we can go for it, since we are modifying the milk to make it more digestible but I am telling you guys all of this to see if any of you have made your own formula? Note: I am not using raw milk, only organic, grass fed, batch pasteurized. I know this might seem so ridiculously overly ambitious for a new mom to try, but it is actually pretty easy to make and prepare. Keep in mind that due to my gut issues I have become very adept at making special concoctions, being hyper vigilant about ingredients, I am used to not being able to eat or drink convenient, "normal" foods and making her formula seems very easy to me compared to all of the very involved diets I have tried on myself over the years. 

She is covered in hair, even her ears are hairy! Its cute and it will fall off eventually. I hope "hairy forehead" is not here to stay. She takes the unibrow to a whole new level right?

So moms. What formulas do you use? Have you ever made your own formula? I really wish I could give her breast milk, but I just don't have access to it. I wish that it were more socially acceptable to share milk but whateves. I can only do my best. Thank you so much for all of your sweet comments and emails. I appreciate you all, even if I didn't personally reply to you, I smiled when I read them. 


36 comments:

  1. Hi Michelle,

    Congrats Mama! Alia is beautiful! And you are taking such tender care of her. As a fellow mom of 2 adopted daughters, I wish you so much peace, love and joy. We adopted our girls when they were slightly older so I have not been thru the formula issue. I am in shock that breast milk costs that much! But it seems to me that you are doing a wonderful job. So happy for you and your family!

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    1. Hi Michelle, thank you for your sweet comment. Yay for adoption!! Its magic.

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  2. Also, one of my girls had the hairy forehead, even at one year. But yes, it goes away!

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    1. hahah! I think its hilarious, and I am also happy to hear that it will go away.

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  3. She is beautiful! You will be amazed how quickly she will change! I'm sorry about the formula issue. I so wish huge corporations weren't trusted to feed our babies and milk banks were accessible for all. I would totally offer you milk (I know that probably sounds weird) if my baby was closer to the newborn stage. I make enough milk for like 4 babies. Ther is a local Facebook group for people to find breast milk but that isn't for everyone (just thought I'd mention it). I think a big issue is introducing good gut bacteria. I was formula fed and have had issues all my life too, but of course many people don't. Luckily, she has every other advantage and loving paren

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    1. Cary, Thank you so much for your sweet offer, not weird at all, very very sweet. Some women do make so much more milk than they need, I hope I can find one of them around me soon :) I am adding an infant probiotic to the formula. I was bottle fed and I have always had gut issues, I don't want Alia to suffer the same fate as me. I choose to focus on what she does have, and how lucky she is to be so loved by us and by her birthmother. Thanks for your sweet comment.

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  4. Loving parents doing their best for her (it wouldn't let me finish?!).

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  5. Another suggestion (I know, annoying mom) is a sheepskin. My babies loved hanging out in them in the foot or pack n play or next to me on the couch. They are natural and antibacterial. I got one as a gift on a baby site and we still love it nearly a decade later.

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  6. I remember my mom making formula for my youngest baby sister, I have 2 others. It was a concoction that included Karo syrup. At any rate we all do what seems right for us. Trust your gut...it's a mom's strongest ally.

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    1. You are right, trust your gut! it has never lead me astray :)

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  7. Such an amazing time, with such a steep learning curve! When my second was born there were complications that kept me from breastfeeding for a while. I was lucky enought to have a friend to give me some breastmilk for the first few weeks. So eff socially acceptable. But my midwife also had connections to milk, without going through the bank. So if you really want to go that route you might try contacting a local midwife or doula. I also looked into making my own formula, and would've used goat milk instead of cow, because the protein is more easily digestible. Finally, you may want to look into adding an infant probiotic since formula doesn't provide the goods for a healthy gut flora.

    If there's one thing that I can see in hindsight of those days is that every decision seems so permanent and important when you make it, but the reality is that you can always change your course if things aren't working out. You'll find something that works perfectly for you both :)

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    1. Thank you for this great suggestion! I am going to look into contacting some local midwives, there must be a woman right near me looking at her boobs and thinking "what am I going to do with all of this milk!" ha! I am adding a probiotic to her formula for sure. Thanks for reminding me that we can grow and change as we make decisions. Good reminder.

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  8. I'm so happy for you!!!!!

    Sorry - no tips on formulas. I know you will find the just right solution though.

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  9. Oh the breast/formula angst! I lost so much joy the first few months struggling with this. I had milk production issues and I was sure I was screwing my daughter for the long haul by having to supplement with formula. Ended up with Similac Sensitive. I add 1/4 t.s. of Udo's infant probiotics (whole foods, in the vitamin fridge). There is no easy on-size-fits-all answer, but just know that regardless of breastmilk or bottle that your sweet baby is being fed with love, which is the most important thing! She'll start on mush/food in about 3-4 months so the bottle will be reduced after that. Enjoy every minute!

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    1. Good point Christine. I am sorry that you struggled with feeding her at first, but I am happy that you found a solution that works for you. Thanks for your good energy!

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  10. You are in a big city...there is bound to be human milk around the corner. See if there are any doc's with a specialty of Breastfeeding medicine. Our local one has the scoop on who has breastmilk to donate.Also concur with midwives, doulas and don't forget the La leche league. Check out the website human milk for human babies.

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  11. Congratulations! I have been following your work and your journey to motherhood for some time. I am so excited for you! Sounds like you have a plan for nourishing your little one in so many ways. Best of luck to you all!

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  12. Coolest thing ever!!! Congratulations! My kids are now 16 and 13. Time flies. Savor it all. :)

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  13. So happy for you! You guys have one of the best adoption stories I've heard. :)
    My daughter had issues with formula and breast milk. Turned out her belly did not agree with dairy at all. She did much better after switching to whole goat milk. From what I've learned goat milk is a lot easier on the tummy and closer to actual breast milk. Hope this helps a bit. Best wishes to you and your family!

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  14. Check out Eats on Feets! Donated breast milk. You have a beautiful baby! https://www.facebook.com/EOF.Georgia

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  15. OH! MY! GOSH! She is so adorable!!!! And so tiny!! I am beyond excited for you.
    May I ask an uncomfortable question? Does the birth mother know about the blog and everything? I mean, will she be watching this beautiful baby grow up in your home or do they keep things like that super private?
    You and O are already amazing parents. I wish I could give you a big hug right now even though I have never met you in person.

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  16. Thank you! Our birthmother will not see my blog, she isn't computer savy but we will still be sending her letters and photos and are happy to have meet ups or anything that she likes. We love her, and care for her deeply. Good question ;)

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  17. She is absolute perfection. Congrats my friend!!
    xx

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    1. Thank you sweet Joslyn. Feeling your good vibes from here :)

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  18. Many congratulations!

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  19. I am touched to tears at your happy news. What a lucky babygirl to have such a cool mom and daddy-O!

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  20. Congratulations Michelle! (And O!) She is just beautiful! I wish you were needing the milk a few months ago when I weaned my little one....I would've kept going for you. Im in Atlanta too:). I would feel so nice to help. We don't know each other, but I love reading your blog and you seem like the sweetest most sincere woman/blogger. You will find your milk and in the mean time , making it is a great option.

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    1. Cindy,
      Thank you for your sweet comment, I appreciate your good juju :) Thank you for reading, I hope that you comment again so we can chat :)

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  21. Holy crap!!! Can't believe I missed this!!! I have been in a BIG move, offline and everything. BUT OMG I AM SO EXCITED FOR YOU GUYS!!!!!! Yay Alia! Blessings on the birth Mom( forgive me if my nomenclature is not correct!).... so so so so so happy for you guys... brings tears to my eyes. Keep us updated pls Blessings

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    1. Thank you Carol. And congrats on being over your move!

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  22. ps... she is gorgeous!!

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  23. Hi Michelle - I have been reading your blog since I bought one of your paintings on Chairish a couple weeks ago. You are so talented and an inspiration! Congratulations on your new baby girl, she is so beautiful!! These pictures are amazing. My daughter was a little hairy when she was born, we called her a little monkey. She is still a little hairy, unfortunately, her italian genes are not doing her any favors. But, the forehead hair did go away, lol. Enjoy every moment, it goes by so fast!!! My kiddos are 6 and 4 now and they are awesome, but I do miss the chubby little thighs and late night squawking.

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  24. Congratulations Michelle!!!!! I am so happy for you!!! Enjoy your little sweet daughter, she is gorgeous!! I am a new mom, too. My baby girl was born in august!

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  25. Congratulations!! She is absolutely perfect!

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Yay! Your gonna reach out to me! I am so excited. I have tried to make commenting here easy for both of us. So please try your hardest to read the squiggly letters so I can chat with you.

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